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Health

New COVID testing facility at Carlisle Lake District Airport

A drive-through coronavirus testing facility is to open at Carlisle Lake District Airport as part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to increase testing.

Anyone experiencing COVID symptoms, however mild, can apply for the free swab test with results available the following day. Tests should be arranged as soon as symptoms begin at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.

Testing at the new airport drive through site will commence on Wednesday 26 August, with more appointments available each day. The site will join the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history, including 73 drive-through sites, 45 walk-through sites, 236 mobile units, home testing and satellite kits and five laboratories.

Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them track their contacts. This will help people to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission.

Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from NHS Test and Trace, advising them to stay at home for 14 days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus. They will be advised to also book at test if they develop symptoms.

Health Minister Lord Bethell said: “The Government continues to scale up testing capacity for coronavirus, to protect the vulnerable, support our NHS, and ultimately save lives.

“This is supported by our NHS Test and Trace service, which will contact you if you test positive or if you have been in close contact with someone who has the virus.

“I urge anyone with symptoms to book a test today, and anyone contacted by NHS Test and Trace to follow their advice to protect those around them from the virus.”

Professor John Newton, National Coordinator for the UK Coronavirus Testing Strategy said: “This is another opportunity to make testing easily available to anyone who needs it. Sites like this allow people who develop symptoms to quickly get a test and find out whether they need to stay at home with their household or can safely return to work or a more normal life.

“This whole programme has been a great example of collaboration between industries, business and the public sector, working together to build the capability needed to protect the population from coronavirus.”

The testing centre is being operated in partnership with Mitie and will offer assisted and self-administered tests. Simon Venn, Chief Government & Strategy Officer, Mitie said: “Our priority during the pandemic is to support the nation’s efforts to fight COVID-19 and help keep the country running. Testing is a critical part of the UK’s strategy to combat coronavirus and we’re proud to support the Government with this vital task. A big thank you to all the NHS staff, Mitie employees and other frontline heroes in Carlisle, who are working tirelessly to keep us all safe.”

Glyn Jones, CEO Stobart Aviation said: “We are pleased to offer support in providing the testing site at Carlisle Lake District Airport. COVID testing plays a vital role in protecting the community and preventing the spread of the virus, everyone will need to play their part by isolating if symptomatic and booking a test as soon as possible.”

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